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Archive for the ‘Beloved’ Category

Beloved is in graduate school.  He attends a pretty cool low-residency program in Vermont specializing in children’s literature.  He’s doing really well, and is accomplishing VERY long-standing goals.  However, we (you may have noticed) do not live in Vermont.

Because it is low-residency, he only has to attend school twice a year, for 10 days.  January and July.

Last January, I was such a baby-lawyer, I could barely open my eyes.  I was a little busy, and it made me nervous when he was gone.  What if something comes up?  What if I get a new assignment?  But it was fine, and I think I left at 4:30 every day.

Last July – the girls were in the Middle of the Country with the Ex, and Beloved and I had already started our moving process.  There were no difficulties.

This January – total different picture.

I’m fully engaged in a case that is culminating this month in every way.  Discovery is closing, summary judgment is being filed, experts are being hired, court hearings are happening.  It’s insane.  INSANE.  And I’m heavily involved in every aspect of it.

I was already nervous – that getting out of work at a reasonable hour was going to be difficult.  Of all months, this is the one where deadlines happen.  I was nervous.

Then, ha ha!  What made me think I knew what nervous was?

It looks like I have the great honor of traveling to a very different part of the country to tend to one of the many aspects of the case that is my Life, even though it’s a bit beyond my seniority level.  It just so happens to be during Beloved’s absence (and over days that are (a) a national holiday, and (b) inauguration day.  Feh.)

At first, it looked like it was just one day, and it was a day that was a school holiday, so I knew that the kids would be fine with friends.  Then it ended up two days, and two long days – long enough that once you add in travel, it may affect 4 days.  Yikes.  Beloved’s only gone for 10 days — I’m having issues for HALF of them?  Unbelievable.

I was going to post about how my decision to make my community one of my many priorities with my time becomes oh-so-valuable in times of need.  I have friends that I can ask for a hand – friends who I’ve given a hand to in the past, and who know that I’m an active and engaged member of our community.

But now, it seems like my needs are too big, and instead, I’m turning to family.  I’ve begged my mother to (re)arrange her work schedule so she can come while I’m gone.

E is mad at me – she overheard me talking to a friend who is my back-up plan, and insists that I hadn’t told her the whole story about next week before telling the friend.  She is mad about the options I have considered for her while I’m gone.  Some friends are out of favor, and others are just plain old “annoying.”  Humorously, she thinks she should be left home alone.

It was hard not to laugh at that one.

All in all, the stress levels are high.  I keep thinking about how, in the past, I’ve looked forward to certain things – or dreaded them – and then they happen.  And before I know it, it’s behind me.

I keep telling myself … it will be January 22nd before I know it.  Beloved will be home, and this difficult time will have passed.  i have a lot of friends.  I am very lucky.  The girls are well-loved, and people are happy to be supportive.  We live in an awesome community, where people are nearby and hyper-willing.

It will be okay.

And I will miss my Beloved.

And I am sad that I should be more supportive, and excited with him about his exciting time, and instead, I’m kinda on the verge of tears over my own stress and fears.  He gives so much, and deserves better.

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[This post has been sitting in draft-form since mid-December … largely because of the things explained here – I was too busy to finish it.  I find myself coming back to continue the theme, but realized I hadn’t followed through on starting the theme.]

I’ve read on several blogs that us lawyer moms are too close-to-the-chest with the reality of our work-life balance issues.  I have always hesitated to say much in that regard because my job is important to me, and I’m not willing to have a bitch-fest in a public forum.  Not that I’ve had much to bitch about, really, for the most part.  I also don’t think “oh, things are going so well!  I come home at 5:30 every day!” sounds all that genuine.  Even though for almost my entire first year, it was true.

Now, however, I am willing to share my recent challenges.  I am challenged because the case I am working on is in the throes of a discovery deadline.  I am challenged because this is what I went to school to do.  It is no fault of my firm or the partners and senior associates that I am working with that the opposing party filed a motion to compel that required our response the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Everybody on my team (a small one) is working as hard as I am – likely harder.  The senior people are certainly juggling more cases than I am, and they are adding in a ton of travel on top of the things we’re doing together that have me running ragged.

The past few weeks (or so) have been hectic, chaotic, harried, stressful and generally insane.  I feel like the first year of easy-breezy first year associate life came to an abrupt end somewhere in October.  Or so.  Or maybe before – I’m not really sure, because it’s all a blur.  

A big reason for the all-out chaos, however, is because I refuse to put certain things aside.  E was in a play during this madness, and I prioritized that.  Not only attending the play (all 4 performances), but fulfilling my commitments and responsibilities  to pitch in to the parent-run event.  I was completely unwilling to let her – or my community – down.  I informed the partner and the associate that I work with early in the week, and assured them that I was willing to work late nights (at home, after the play) and early mornings in order to make up for the lost time.  

In retrospect, I could have worked during the play, late nights, and early mornings, and done a better job.  But I don’t for a second regret that I kept that time sacred.  

I have been exhausted.  Before the holidays, I had been functioning on very little sleep during the weeks.  I was setting my alarm for 5 and 6 a.m. on the weekends, and parking myself and my research at our dining room table for the entire day.  Or at least until the latest possible moment before stopping to cook dinner for dinner guests, or to dress for a holiday party.  

During the holidays, despite making very early announcements that I planned to take the week of Christmas off (because my sister was coming to town), I ended up working almost every day that wasn’t a real “holiday.”  The stress levels were high, and there was a lot going on.  

So I guess now I know what it really means to be a lawyer.  To juggle at a frantic pace, to see 7:30 or 8 p.m. as a perfectly reasonable dinner time for a family of four …  and a couple of times, to miss dinner time (as many times in the past month or two as I had in the entire last year).  And now, to top it all off, travel is starting to creep in as a possibility on a regular basis.  

It’s been tough.  But I knew that going in, and I enjoy having work that keeps me mentally engaged.  I also am more than aware of the fact that layoffs in law firms are becoming almost routine, and I’m grateful to have this job.  I do not think it’s irrational to work my ass off right now in exchange for a feeling of security and stability.  I hold onto the reality of peaks and valleys.  Once we hit our deadline on January 30th, I may find myself twiddling my thumbs.*

And, as always, I can’t really talk about my comfort level with the situation without talking about Beloved, and his daily presence.  The girls are not alone – they are not knocking around an empty house.  If that were the case, I would be much less comfortable.  But instead, they have help with their homework, they are helping him and learning to cook, they are working on projects.  

Anyway.  These are my balance struggles.  Which I should likely keep dumping onto this forum, rather than whining to everybody in my day-to-day life about how busy I am.

* which could also be read as: putting all my time and attention to the school play that I am PRODUCING.  What the heck?

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Years old!

Today was my birthday.

Through fantastic home cooked meals, disproportionate investments by offspring, phone calls from loved ones, and yes, Facebook Wall posts, I felt as loved and celebrated as I wanted to.

And through 10s of thousands of documents that HAD to be reviewed today, and the ever-growing to-do list at work and at home (i.e., kids’ school commitments, which may or may not include, oh, i don’t know, producing a major school play????), I was reminded that 3 dozen is far from 3.  Or One Dozen.  I am old.  And my birthday does not matter all that much, except to those who are dear to me.  And I thank them for their love and consideration.

Onward !!!  (because tomorrow is Beloved’s birthday!  And I have gifts to wrap, and a cake to wrap!!!)

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[not for the feint of heart]

Last night, E and I were sitting on the couch in our living room.  We had gone out to see Twilight with friends, then to Starbucks for a post-movie warm drink (so why the kids ended up with frappucinos is beyond me …)  We got home after 10.  I was so tahd.  I had a a tough day at work.

Because I am not all that traditional in my beliefs about “appropriate conversations with your kids,” I said, “E, I got my period today, and I have cramps.”  She said, “oh, poor mommy.”  And I said, “do you know when that means I will NEXT get my period?”  She did some quick math in her head, and said, “oh!  the 25th!”  And I said, “of what month?” and she said, “Decemb … oh, that sucks.”

Beloved and I have been enjoying an increased intake of green beans lately.  Law school is over, the stress of a first year at a new job is over, life is a little steady (even though he is in school …)

But we don’t like messy grean beans.

And so, on this Thanksgiving, we will be having some green beans in the traditional cream of mushroom soup with dried onions on top.  And that is it.

Sorry, Tranny-head, for the boring green beans post.  But I think it still counts.

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The beauty in my house.

1)  Beloved’s optimism.  He is not, by nature, an optimistic boy.  He was not, since March, an Obama fan, as I was.  But now – he’s just full of (sorry …) hope and excitement.  He loves what he’s seeing, and i love seeing him UNcynical about the way of the world.

2)  J’s sense of humor.  She is a very funny bird, and even after some tears and a minor catastrophe over a loose molar that she won’t wiggle and that may very well be impacted … she can crack jokes and make us all laugh until we want to pee our pants.

3)  E’s Mandarin skills.  How strange to have your offspring pick up a pen and create such very different language on a page.  I can’t believe how quickly she became so confident with her pen dashing across the page making … (to me) pictures.  She spent the later part of the evening writing out sentences for me in  Mandarin characters, phonetic Mandarin, direct English translation, and conversational English translations.  Wow!  (The best part may be how much she loves it, and that this activity was something SHE chose to do, and had fun with.

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Before we moved, I canceled all of our newspaper deliveries. 
 
We had been getting the New York Times on Sundays, and the Boston Globe every day. 
 
The reason for this plethora of paper and news was that last year, in about November, J’s teacher made a comment that she was one of the least informed in the class.  D. and I knew why.  We don’t watch the local news, or the mainstream news.  We occasionally watch the News Hour on PBS, but our schedule has shifted later and later to the point where we’re rarely settled and in front of the t.v. by 6 p.m. when it comes on.  We don’t watch the other news, because we don’t really CARE about the brutal slayings in Georgia or Idaho or wherever this week’s sexiest “news” story is happening.  We don’t care about the warped teasers thrown out before the commercial break.  We don’t care about the back door of some remote town’s school’s equipment shed that was left unlocked one night last weekend, causing a “safety concern.”  We don’t want to subject the girls’ precious little minds to the sensationalism and nonsense that comes with most news shows.
 
So when her teacher made the comment, we thought perhaps we should find a way to integrate the days’ events into the girls’ lives more.  (Even though E stayed aware, mostly through listening and participating in our conversations, her friends’ conversations, the internet, and her own general curiosity – something that J does lack in this area.  You might say that E is our budding activist while J is our budding Uninformed Voter.)  We decided the best thing to do was have the newspaper around.  Something she could come to when curious, but not have forced upon her. 
 
From November until July, we had stacks and stacks of newspapers in the house.  Underfoot in the entry way, almost always wrapped in their delivery bags until they were removed to be recycled at the end of the week. 
 
Hence, the cancellation upon the move.  But we missed the Sunday papers – which at least D read every week.  I more picked and chose through for the “fun” sections, but I read something every week.  On September 15, I went to the New York Times’ website and re-ordered the paper.
 
On September 21st, I heard the Sunday morning delivery person making his/her way down the street, with the “thunk thunk thunk” of papers on porches, and excitedly went to get my Sunday morning paper.
 
It wasn’t there. 
 
I pouted, but assumed my order just hadn’t gone through yet. 
 
Later that week, though, my bill arrived, and it said “Service Start Date:  9/21/08.”  I was too busy to worry about the $5 or whatever that I was billed for nothing. 
 
Then, on September 28th, again, the thunk, the running down the stairs (we live on the 2nd floor).  No paper.  The neighbors’ Globe was there.  But no Times. 
 
This time, I called.  They said there was a “production delay” in our area, and that we would not be receiving a paper that day.  I pushed whatever series of 700 buttons necessary to talk to a person to let them know I hadn’t received the paper the previous week, either.  They apologized, credited my account, and assured me that delivery would be normal the following week.
 
On October 5th, I trundled down the stairs with sleep still in my eyes clutching to the fantasy of brewing some coffee and reading the paper at my dining room table. 
 
Nothing.
 
Again, I called.  Again, they credited my account, and apologized that they would be unable to deliver a replacement paper because of some snag in production or a lack of a driver or something.  They were really nice.  I was pretty irritated.
 
October 12th.  Guess what?  No paper.  I called AGAIN, on the verge of, but not quite, seething.  They said that once again, there was a production delay, and we’d receive our paper by 10:30 a.m.  But at 11 a.m., I called again with no paper in hand.  Angry.  Now they were understanding the urgency.  They were going to “request an investigation” and “send a memo” to the distribution center.  They also were going to get me a replacement paper. 
 
I spent the whole day running to the porch at every noise and car door closing and balls bouncing.  No paper. 
 
D. suggested that we cancel the subscription.  He didn’t think they would believe us anymore.  He thought they would assume we were lying to get free papers.  He asked “are you sure they know we moved?”  And I told him:  every time I call, the recording asks “please confirm that your street number is ___.”  With the proper number – not the old (very different) number.  Then I showed him my statement, with my name, account number, and current address on it. 
 
Then yesterday – I was sure, after the investigation and all, that my paper would be there.  Of course I would have a paper now.  They investigated
 
So I ran downstairs to be greeted, once again, with an empty and dejected porch.
 
I called again.  I told them I needed to just cancel the damn thing.  The very friendly boy on the other end said, “I really wouldn’t want you to cancel your paper,” to which I had no choice but to exclaim in a possibly loud voice “BUT I DON’T GET A PAPER!!”  He pulled up my account and verified that I had, in fact, lodged “several complaints.” 
 
He did convince me not to cancel.  I mean, what’s the alternative?  It’s almost November.  It’s getting cold outside.  If I cancel the paper, then I’m committing myself to either 1) no paper (or continued on line reading, which just isn’t as cozy) or 2) trudging outside in the cold and potentially snow every Sunday morning to get a paper.  Ick!! 
 
I decided to mention the move to him.  It had occurred to me that perhaps it was the same delivery person as at my old address, and perhaps he just saw my name on the list, and since it’s a crazy-unique name, he just assumed he knew where I lived.  And kept plunking paper down in the lobby of the old building.  Perhaps stacks and stacks of weekly original AND replacement papers were barring the entry of the tenants of the old building, and the driver was pulling his hair out at the constant requests for new papers. 
 
This boy promised me a replacement copy.  And another investigation.  I rolled my eyes a little, and said goodbye. 
 
I checked a few times during the late morning, with the kids and the husband and now even the parents who were in for the weekend all laughing at me.  With good reason, I suppose.
 
But at 12:20, when my father and I were walking out the front door to go for a walk to buy a new potato peeler because I had a horrific experience helping D prepare the mid-day meal with the crappy-ass peeler that he last bought after we inexplicably lost 4 consecutive peelers just in the 4 months that we’ve lived in this house — guess what greeted me on the stoop? 
 
THE SUNDAY TIMES!!
 
I was so excited!!  I ran it upstairs and belittled D for being of little faith and for mocking my perseverance.  He rolled his eyes at me (something E is forbidden from doing so why he gets away with it, I have no idea) and then greedily snatched the precious blue bag from my hands. 
 
I did not actually read the paper until 9 p.m., but I did read more than I ever have before, and I put the Magazine in my bag for train reading. 
 
My father and I returned from the paper-finding walk at approximately 1:15.  They left for home at 3:30, and I walked out my door at 4:50 to trek to the Gap and other errands.  I was home at around 5.  E came home for the evening at 6:30. 
 
And this morning, I left my house at 7:06 a.m.  I opened the door to let the cat out before me, and he stopped to sniff yet another blue bag.  I thought perhaps it was the Monday paper – that they totally screwed up and put us on a daily schedule.  Or perhaps, they decided to try and compensate me for my frustration by adding to my recycling pile. 
 
But no – it was another Sunday paper. 
 
Now I’m wondering if a neighbor stole it, and put it back in the night time? 
 
Whatevs.  At least I was able to keep myself occupied with a pleasant distraction while watching the Red Sox lose last night … 

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We have been struggling in our house as of late with some changes coming about in E.  This pre-adolescence has been relatively calm.  I am grateful for my slower developer.  I am glad that I have time to get used to the attitude and the increased independence before I need to buy bras and tampons and listen to complaints about boys (or girls?).  I get to ease in. 

 
 
But for one area which has been painful.
 
 
The child (almost-not) eats like a freaking person obsessed.  She walks in the door “I’m hungry.”  She eats something and fifteen minutes later “I’m hungry” comes yet again.  Her desires could be worse – she wants to eat our TJ’s High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup-Free granola bars almost non-stop; she wants salami slices; she wants cheese.  We aren’t talking candy bars (although the granola bars are close, and we are phasing them out) and potato chips.  Or donuts and soda.  We’ve done a good job at getting her to understand nutrition and what’s important.   But we do have a “fruit first” rule, and she does resist it.  She also say after she has her “fruit first” she has to alternate other snacks with fruit in between.   This pisses her off. 
 
 
Does it really, though, have to be every 10 minutes?  And if I’m exaggerating with the 10 and 15 minutes, I can easily ground the conversation in reality by saying “she wants to eat every hour, perhaps less.”
 
 
We are working to put this more in her hands.  We don’t need to be developing eating issues – and part of me fears that her constant asking for food is actually coming from our up-till-now resistance more than it’s coming from hunger. 
 
 
These are the ideas we have:
 
 
1) a block cheese and some triscuits, to which she has complete access after school.
2) a tub of peanut butter and a tupperware of celery sticks, to which she has complete access.
3) teach her to make rice (a favorite of hers) and allow her to make a bowl for an after-school snack.
4) find some way to STILL insist that everything be intermingled with fruit while still maintaining a responsible hands-off approach.
5) find a way to insist that she still be hungry for dinner, with the same concerns above being addressed.
6) find a way for D. and I to disengage our frustration-buttons as she continues to ask for food and ask permission for food and ask for more food and then eat more food, and then eat 3 bites of dinner before saying “I’m not hungry.” 
 
 
FOOD!!  Argh!!! 
 
 
While J, on the other hand, maintains her vegetarian status.  We had to threaten her this week with a cessation of special-cooked meals on account of her leaving the table after taking 2 or 3 bites.  D. works hard to make her balanced meals that closely approximate the meaty items on our dishes, and sometimes she just wrinkles her nose and picks around the dish and walks away.  It’s getting to be a little deflating for the cook in the house who works so hard to be respectful of every one’s choices.  If she can just pick around the dish, then I think she can just pick around the meat and eat the non-meat.  D. understands the vegetarian a bit more than I do, though, having had his own forays into that lifestyle, and is willing to just put her on notice of what may be in store.  She seems to be taking the hint to heart, and being a bit more respectful in her own right of the work and consideration being put forth for her…
 
 
All the while I keep coming into work with my leftovers in hand just to find that I’ve been scheduled for yet another interview lunch and am forced to stash D’s fantastic cooking into the mini-fridge so I can partake in yet another 3 course meal designed to woo the best and the brightest to my firm; and to woo my gut into the next size of pants. 
 
 
grrrrr.

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The third coat.

I had to dash out of work at 5 p.m. today (not a normal leaving time, in my line of work), despite the fact that I’m dealing with a pretty tight work deadline.

I used to have to do this once a week during the kids’ school year, because my husband used to work late on Thursdays, and J needed to get to soccer practice, and both kids needed to eat, and you know, be parented.

But tonight, it was not a human being who was waiting for me – none were.  They’re all gone.  It was some crappy looking unevenly painted walls.  An exciting bedroom project gone horribly wrong, needing the next phase of repair.

And I was it.  Tagged.

Our bedroom in our new place came with mint-chip-ice-cream (the kind with nasty food dye in it) green walls.  When we first saw the place, we thought it was nice:  refreshing, even.  But as J was picking colors to cover the pepto bismol that exploded in the room that was to be hers, i got jealous.  I don’t want food-dye colored walls.  I want pretty walls.  The landlord said painting was fine with her, as long as we repainted any dark colors before we left.

So, the husband started looking at colors, and thought perhaps we would do what we started talking about back when we lived on the other ocean, and do a Moroccan color scheme.

How about red walls, a tan ceiling, and dark brown trim?

Sounded fine to me. But first I asked, “are you sure the room is big enough to carry off the dark colors?”  He said, “yes.”  And, b/c he went to art school, and knows his colors, I trusted him.

Should I say it here?  Or later on in the story?  The “trim” in this particular bedroom consists of 3 doorways (and, he insisted, the doors themselves), 3 large windows with intricate trim, a really nice moulding along the [entire!] celing, and – get this – a fireplace.  With a mantle.

Before he left for his 10-day trip out of state, we went to Home Depot and chose our colors.  They looked nice near each other.  I found me a Home Depot Paint Dude, and told him what we wanted.  He said, “you need a primer with reds.”

Now, if I’d done some research ahead of time – instead of believing the commercials where the Home Depot Paint Dudes are actually Home Depot Paint GODS – I would have known to say, “yes, I know we need a primer.  We would like a [dark grey] primer, or perhaps, a primer [the same color as the paint].  I would not have just nodded and smiled.  I would have done more than thought “how weird” when he handed me a can of PINK primer.

Light pink.

Let’s flash forward about 5 days.  The husband is gone.  The parents come to town.  My father paints E’s room.  “oh!  it’s so pretty!  It’s so easy!”  Then they move into J’s room – where my mother has a minor freak out that I’ve bought “day glo blue” paint.  She calls me at work, demanding some kind of answer from me.  Not sure what kind.  But then she called an hour later and said, “oh, I think it’s just the way it looked next to the pink, or else it just dried softer, it’s a nice color.”  thanks, mom.  Then they did the 1/2 bath, and it came out great, too (even though I did get a phone call saying “this yellow is really BRIGHT!” just to be predictably, at this point, followed up with a “oh, it softened, and now it’s really pretty!”)

Saturday brought a first stab at my room.  The reds!  The tan!  The brown!  Oh boy!  First some primer …. huh.  The red isn’t very red on top of that.  It’s more of a pink.  Let’s set that aside and do the tan ceiling (more of a sand color).  It was beautiful.  So soothing, and warm.  Very nice.

The pink primer was so horrible that we may as well have skipped the primer stage.  The red went on uneven and wimpy.  The first coat looked wretched.

but while it dried, my dad tried the trim.

Oh.  Ew.  Gross.

On top of the pink primer, the trim looked …red.  Just a different, bloodier red.  Or, perhaps cherries next to strawberries?  Or something else that just looks totally UGLY.

So we went to IKEA where I spent $700 on new furniture, and that made me feel a little better.

Then we went to Home Depot to figure out what the fuck was going on.

“The guy gave you PINK primer?” said the Paint God, who apparently took the day off when Beloved and I were there the week before.  “Oh, that’s bad.  He shouldn’t have done that.”  So we got a new primer, and went back on our way.

We tried it again – just the primer first, but it was the color of the paint.  Now the brownish-red looked more brown, but it was dark.  And it didn’t really look good. So in one small place, I went ahead with the glossier real paint.  It at least matched the color chip at this point.

But standing in that room, with the deep red walls and the pretty sand ceiling, the dark-dark-dark of the trim already felt oppressive.  And it was only covering a 1 foot piece of baseboard.

Shit.

If I were to cover the fireplace, 3 doors, 3 windows and the moulding with that, the room would close in like a dirt-packed cave.  The red would be lost.  The tan would be useless.

And in the meantime, the second coat of the nice, deep, red did not finish the job.  There still wasn’t total coverage.  And dad had to leave.

So they went back to Connecticut, leaving me in a room with pink trim in some places, white remaining in others, and dark dark brown in others, and strawberry mush, still in others, and walls that were streaky and uneven.

I was so upset.  I had spent so much money on re-buying and re-doing the paints to make this work.  I needed a second gallon of ceiling paint, and second gallon of wall paint, a new gallon of primer …. it just felt like I spent the whole weekend buying paint and paint accessories, watching my new bed fly out of my checking account with it all.

So I decided I was done.  Since Beloved picked the color for the trim, he could deal with it.  I had worked my ass off all weekend, and I was so stressed out.  I had spent every day all day walking up and down multiple stair cases carrying boxes and then scrubbing the new kitchen, and packing the girls’ current bedroom, and stressing over my parents, and spending money and more money and more money …. the bedroom mess was pushing me over the edge. I was doing my best to release it, to pass it on and let it go (unbeknownst to him, b/c he is not here, and has not called even ONE TIME.  Which is fine.  I’m fine with it.  Really.  He’s busy.)

But then it dawned on me that the Paint God (not the Paint Dude, who was wholly inadequate) and my father both said that we needed one week in between painting the walls with their third coat, and then putting tape on them to protect them from the trim-paint (which, as far as I’m concerned, and which Beloved does not know yet, will be the color of the ceiling.  It is a beautiful, soothing, complimentary color that will not shrink the room, and which we will not need to cover over when we leave – I can’t live with that dark brown suffocating me every time I walk in my room). Or else the tape will take the paint OFF.  Which would really piss me off.

Which meant I had to paint.  Because if I didn’t, and I left the whole thing for him when he got home, then he couldn’t paint until Saturday, at the earliest, and then the week wouldn’t be up until AFTER the movers, which would mean AFTER all our stuff was in our room, and the whole thing would become infinitely more complicated.

I had to tackle the bedroom demons, and apply the third coat.

And, since it’s – you know – paint.  Which is a color.  I thought perhaps it would be good to do it with light.  Preferably from the sun.

Which is why, deadline be damned, I scurried out of there at 5 p.m., wrestled with the 9,000,000 people in Boston who did the same, squished on the T with the 6,000,000 of those who take the Green Line, go to the dry cleaner to spend 1/3 of my spending allowance for the month on the privilege of having clean clothes to wear tomorrow, carry 8,000 pounds of plastic and clothes home – which is not near the dry cleaners – in 87 degree weather, put on crappy painting clothes, gather my phone, my blackberry, both sets of keys, my wallet (in case today – unlike every other day this week – I would actually have time to EAT something for dinner), and start painting with as much daylight left as possible.

And of course this was the night that a partner called me (in my office) at 7:15. I don’t need to return the call until tomorrow, but it at least momentarily added to the stress.

Daylight dwindled, but I think things look good now.  (other than the pink, the brown, the white and the smooshy strawberry trim).  The walls are rich, the paint is even, and it’s shaping up. The room really can carry the red.  Just not the red and the brown. Now it can dry for a week, and then someone else can take over to figure out what color primer is needed in order to make a tan look the same when applied over a pink, a brown, a smooshy strawberry, and white.

Now it’s 10 p.m., I’m back in the messy house, and no – I haven’t eaten dinner.  Maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow brings a training until 6 (so I can do family law pro bono work), and then the much-needed cleaning and emptying of the girls’ room.

What a week.

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A movie meme!

ones I’ve seen in bold; ones I want to see underlined. (of course, zuska-style, with commentary) Steal at will – I got it from E. McPan.  The “new classics” from the last 25 years. According to Entertainment Weekly, anyway.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)

4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan — 1998
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard — 1988
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
(The ex made me watch it – worst 1+ hours of my life.)
12. The Matrix – 1999

13. GoodFellas (1990)

14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)

17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing — 1989
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler’s List (1993)

22. Rushmore — 1998
23. Memento (2001)

24. A Room With a View (1986)

25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire — 1988
(Thrilled to see this favorite of mine made the list. One of the best movies this ex-Christian has ever seen)
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally… 1989

31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club — 1999
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

39. The Sixth Sense — 1999
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)

42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)

45. Rain Man — 1988
46. Children of Men (2006)
(Highly recommended)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)

49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad — 1988
53. The Truman Show — 1998 (Another favorite at the time.)

54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006) (Also highly recommended)
57. There’s Something About Mary — 1998 (hated it with a passion)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)

60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape  — 1989 (mmm, James Spader)

63. Big — 1988
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)

65. Dirty Dancing (1987)

66. Natural Born Killers (1994) (I loved this movie when it came out.  And Juliette Lewis.)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)

69. All About My Mother — 1999
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)

73. Office Space — 1999
74. Drugstore Cowboy — 1989
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)

82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004) (ignore the bold, I can’t make it turn off)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)

92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory — 1989
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley — 1999
99. The Blair Witch Project — 1999
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut  — 1999

Beloved studied film in undergrad.  As a result, since I’ve been with him, I’ve seen a shitload of movies.  I’m pretty happy to say that off this list, only a few of them were ones I saw because of – or even with – him.

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We saw Wall-e tonight.  It was fun, and it made us all laugh.  E’s favorite part was an allusion to an Iraq-related Bush-ism, “we have to stay the course!”  She nearly split a side.  (Update:  Beloved has found since that there is a good bit of debate going on about that line.  I think that’s just silly.  It just made us laugh.  The end.  Acknowledging, of course, that my personal opinions about Georgie Porgy make it nothing but laughable.  I’m just not inclined to analyze it more fully, b/c it was just a goofy line.)

So why, as we’re walking out, is a young couple going on and on about how the movie MUST only appeal to people over the age of 30.  It is too mature for children.  Kids won’t get it!

E and I were bickering over which of us should turn around and tell them that perhaps, before drawing conclusions about children, they should talk to a child.

Kids can’t understand loneliness?  Or is it the pollution that they can’t understand?  Can they not understand the joke about people becoming more and more stationary as we’re increasingly “plugged in”?  (E just finished 451 Farenheit for crying out loud!)  What part of that movie can “kids” not understand?  I mean, sure, your average 3 year old will probably just be laughing at the antics, and not at the substance and the Bush jokes.  But my 10 and 12 year olds had a thorough understanding of every aspect of that movie.

This past year, the girls’ school started a “Greening of [insert school’s name]” program.  I’m on the little committee for it.  We parents (moms, really) were acknowledging the fact that our kids have pushed us, the parents, into that room.  Our kids are the ones running around the house, turning off the lights.  Our kids are fretting over whether or not the earth will be in a livable condition by the time they’re our ages.  My kids are the ones who are upset with me for looking at buying a car.  My 12 year old and her friend that we randomly ran into at the theater were debating the practicality of fuel cell vehicles as we waited for the show to start.  Earlier in the day, while complaining about my Grand Plans to Purchase a Prius in 2009, my 10 year old came up with the theory that we have a moratorium on manufacturing new cars until an environmentally sound alternative to oil exists.  “And then maybe everyone will get so used to walking and riding bikes, that they won’t even want cars anymore!”

So, really?   Kids can’t/don’t/won’t understand?

In the end, neither E or I said a word.  But I wish we did.  Those people were dumb.

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Last night we found ourselves without a movie for our usual “movie and ice cream” Friday.  So we checked Direct TV, and found Romancing the Stone.  I checked the common sense media site that I have been loving for its non-religious candid appraisals of movies for kids – I love the fact that it will caution a parent over  gender stereotypes right alongside the sex, violence and drug cautions.  I have to check on these old movies, b/c I have the world’s shittiest memory for a 35 year old.  I am currently re-reading The Stand, b/c I was convinced that E should read it.  Beloved was like, “uh, it’s a great book, and I think she’ll love it – but not yet.”  But all I could remember was a trek across the country, and the re-establishment of a society.  So he got the book and put it in MY hands and said, “you re-read it first.”  So I’m re-reading it.

Uh.  Yeah.  E’s not reading this book until SHE is 35.  I can’t believe that I read it when I was (13?  14?).

So, I need to check things.

Romancing the Stone was rated as 13+, but the stuff they described wasn’t stuff that put me on edge (a woman in a wet t-shirt showing the outline of her breasts (we aren’t afraid of no breasts – at least not jof the mere sight of them), and a scene where people are lying on top of each other, clearly after having sex – didn’t really concern me that much).  So we watched it.  It was soooo appropriate.  I mean, I was a little worried about the post-sex scene, and thought that perhaps I would have to push pause or cover eyes.  But it was really nothing.  Really.

Then I was also worried beause the last time we watched a “movie of my childhood” it didn’t go over so well.  We saw the first Batman.  The one with Michael Keaton and Kim Bassinger.  I even said during the credits, “oh, Kim Bassinger is so pretty in this!”  Obviously, I forgot about the bad perm and the ugly 80s prom dress she wore.  The movie was horrible!!!

Romancing the Stone was fun, though.

Phew.

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So, have I mentioned we’re moving in 3 days?  Yikes!!

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